In this article, we’re going to explore the best grip strength exercises. Grip strength is an often overlooked but important aspect of physical fitness. A firm grip can help you perform better in many activities, from weightlifting to rock climbing, and can also help prevent injuries.

There are many different ways to exercise your grip, so it’s important to find the ones that work best for you. This article will introduce you to some of the most effective grip strength exercises and provide tips for incorporating them into your workout routine.

Top 8 Best Grip Strength Exercises:

There are many exercises that involve grip strength, below are our favorites:

1. Hand gripper

Hand GripperA hand gripper is one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve grip strength. Hand grippers come in various sizes and styles, so you can find one that fits your hand size and strength level.

To use a hand gripper, hold it and squeeze it as hard as possible. Start with a light resistance gripper and work your way up to a heavier one as your grip gets more robust. Aim for three sets of 10-15 repetitions.

If you don’t have access to a hand gripper, another easy way to exercise your grip is by using a rubber ball. Start by squeezing the ball as hard as you can for 30 seconds. Then, release the ball and shake your hand for a few seconds before repeating. Aim for three sets of 30 seconds.

Alternatively, you can also use a weight plate to exercise your grip. Hold the weight plate and squeeze it as hard as possible. Start with a light weight plate and work your way up to a heavier one as your grip gets stronger. Aim for three sets of 10-15 repetitions.

2. Deadlifts

Deadlift for Grip Strength

Deadlifting is the exercise where you will be able to move the biggest amount of weight. Because of that, it’s a great way to train your grip strength.

Through deadlifting, you are forcing your hands to hold massive amounts of weight. Sometimes people use lifting straps to help with their grip when it comes to deadlifting but if you’re trying to train your grip strength, of course, you don’t want to do that.

3. Pull Ups

Pull up exercise image

A great bodyweight exercise to train your grip strength is pull-ups. Pull-ups require your grip not only to hold your body weight but also the increased force of pulling yourself up too. Pull-ups are also a great exercise in general for your forearms, biceps, and of course back, in different degrees depending on the pull-up grip that you use.

If you cannot quite do pull-ups yet, dead hangs are also a great way to train grip strength. Dead hangs are where you simply grip the pull-up bar and hang for as long as you can.

If you’re looking for a more challenging grip workout, try using a towel. Hang a towel over a bar or door and grip it with both hands. Start by hanging from the towel for 30 seconds. Then, pull yourself up, so your chin is over the bar. Aim for three sets of 5-10 repetitions.

Rope pull-ups are an excellent exercise for your grip and your upper body. First, grip a rope hanging from a high place with both hands to do this exercise. Then, pull yourself up, so your chin is over the bar. Start with three sets of 5-10 repetitions and work your way up as you get stronger.

4. Resistance band

Another way to exercise your grip is by using a resistance band. First, wrap the band around your hand and hold it with your fingers. Then, try to pull the band apart with your fingers. Start with a light resistance band and work your way up to a heavier one as your grip gets more robust. Aim for three sets of 10-15 repetitions.

To add a challenge to this exercise, try wrapping the band around your foot and holding it with your toes. Then, try to pull the band apart with your toes. Aim for three sets of 10-15 repetitions.

5. Reverse curl

The reverse curl is an excellent exercise for strengthening your grip and forearm muscles. First, hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing down to do a reverse curl. Then, slowly lift the dumbbells towards your shoulders. Next, lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position and repeat. Aim for three sets of 10-15 repetitions.

6. Pinch grip

The pinch grip is another excellent exercise for strengthening your grip and forearm muscles. Hold a weight plate in one hand with your thumb and first two fingers to do a pinch grip. Then, try to lift the weight off the ground. Start with a light weight and work your way up as your grip gets more substantial. Aim for three sets of 5-10 repetitions.

7. Farmer’s walk

Farmers WalkThe farmer’s walk is good for overall grip strength and forearm endurance. First, hold a dumbbell (or kettlebell, or anything heavy) in each hand with your palms facing your thighs.

Then, walk forward as quickly as you can while maintaining good form. You should aim for a weight heavy enough that your grip starts to fail after about 20-30 seconds. Repeat this for as many sets as preferred.

8. Kettlebell swings

Kettlebell swings are a great way to exercise your grip and improve cardiovascular fitness. Hold a kettlebell in both hands and swing it between your legs to do this exercise. Then, explosively swing the kettlebell up overhead. As you swing the kettlebell up, focus on using your hips and not your arms. Start with three sets of 10-15 repetitions and work your way up as you get stronger.

How Do You Test For Grip Strength?

In order to test your grip strength, you’ll need a tool called a grip dynamometer. A hand grip dynamometer is a piece of equipment that you grip and pull on with your fingers and it measures the force of your grip. If you’re serious about improving your grip strength and you want to measure your progress – or you’re just curious, a hand dynamometer is a great investment.

In addition to a hand grip dynamometer, another way to test grip strength is with a test called the pinch strength test. A pinch strength test is performed with a pinch dynamometer where the person doing the test pinches two metal points with their index finger and thumb as hard as possible and the force of their pinch (or grip) is measured.

The folks over at topendsports.com have produced a table ranking different grip strength ranges relative to sex and bodyweight as can be seen below:

RatingMalesFemales
Excellent>141 lbs
>64 kg
>84 lbs
>38kg
Very good123-141 lbs
56-64 kg
75-84 lbs
34-38 kg
Above average114-122 lbs
52-55 kg
66-74 lbs
30-33 kg
Average105-113 lbs
48-51 kg
57-65 lbs
26-29 kg
Below average96-104 lbs
44-47 kg
49-56 lbs
23-25 kg
Poor88-95 lbs
40-43 kg
44-48 lbs
20-22 kg
Very poor<88 lbs
<40 kg
<44 lbs
<20 kg

Incorporating grip strength exercises into your workout

Grip strength exercises can be added to any workout routine. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add hand grippers to your weightlifting routine. Grip the gripper between sets of lifts.
  • Do towel hangs or pulls after a cardio workout.
  • Train your grip on your downtime while watching TV or reading. Squeeze a ball or use a hand gripper whenever you have a free hand.
  • Do grip strength exercises every day. Just a few minutes of exercise can significantly affect your grip strength.

Tips for a successful grip strength workout

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your grip strength workout:

  • Warm up your hands before starting your workout. This will help prevent injuries.
  • Focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to do a few sets of high-quality repetitions than many sets with poor form.
  • Mix up your routine. Doing the same grip strength exercises can lead to boredom and plateauing. Instead, try new exercises and switch up your routine every 4-6 weeks.
  • Use proper form. This is especially important when using heavier hand grippers or performing heavy movements like the deadlift. Avoid using momentum to close the gripper – focus on closing it slowly and with control.
  • Listen to your body. Grip strength exercises can be tough on your hands and wrists. If you start to experience pain, take a break from your workout and consult a doctor if the pain persists.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this article about the best grip strength exercises. There are many different ways to train your grip strength, so it’s important to find the ones that work best for you.

This article has introduced you to some of the most effective grip strength exercises and tips on incorporating them into your workout routine. These tips can improve your grip strength and make your workouts more effective.

About the Author: Jason Chapman

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Jason Chapman has a degree in Exercise Science and is a personal trainer with 10+ years of experience in fitness and strength coaching. Jason spends his time with BodyCapable researching the latest strength training trends and writing science-backed, informative content. Jason likes to spend his spare time hiking, traveling, and of course training!